Alliance for Youth Action Demands Action to Protect Democracy in the Midst of Healthcare Emergency

Friday, March 13, 2020

Media Contact:  
Carmel Pryor, Senior Director of Communications


The Alliance for Youth Action network demands leaders in Washington and our state capitals respond to the threat of COVID-19 by not only combatting its spread, but also addressing its impact on our democracy. 

Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon has introduced legislation to mandate that all states allow vote by mail for the general election in November. This bill also provides federal funding to support this effort.  

“Public health emergencies are an example of how we need the government to work for all of us,” said Sarah Audelo, Executive Director of the Alliance for Youth Action. “COVID-19 exposes every single one of America’s weaknesses. In addition to needing urgent policies to take care of our people’s well-being, we also need policies to protect access to the ballot now.”

“Young people in Oregon support Senator Wyden’s legislation not only because it’s smart, but also because it includes some of the policies that we have been pushing for and passed, like paid postage for our mail in elections,” said Samantha Gladu, Executive Director of Next Up. In 2019, Next Up, our affiliate in Oregon, won paid postage for their mail-in elections. 

The Alliance for Youth Action network of youth-led local organizations has been on the forefront of addressing how to build a voting system that works for all Americans through our Democracy Done Right campaign. We believe every citizen should be automatically registered to vote, get to cast their ballot in a secure, accessible way that fits their needs, and never has their right to vote taken away for any reason. This legislation plus other policies including Online Voter Registration (OVR), Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, and expanding early vote are required for a strong democracy.

This is a defining moment for us. We believe that Vote-By-Mail is a critical measure to remove the possibility that the November election is disrupted by COVID-19.  Our response to this public health crisis must also include removing roadblocks to voter access and protecting our democracy. 


The Alliance for Youth Action is a nationwide network of organizations building the progressive political power of young people across America to strengthen our democracy, fix our economy, and correct injustices through on-the-ground organizing. The Alliance supports and scales the work of local organizations to build a movement of young people, by young people, and for all people.